Lowcountry Publix employees and stores pump $309,000 into local United Way campaign

With the corporate and employee contributions counted, the more than 700 employees in six Beaufort and Jasper Publix stores donated $309,446 to the United Way of the Lowcountry’s 2012 campaign.

The donation is the largest gift in this year’s campaign to date, said Peter Post, chairman of the local United Way Board of Directors.

“This is an exceptional company with exceptional people doing extraordinary things for their community,” Post said. “Very few of the employees are upper management, and yet they find it in their hearts to contribute to United Way on such a high level. Amazing!”

United Way is the only internal employee-specific fundraiser in Publix, according to a corporate official in Jacksonville, FL.

“Our associates are given the opportunity to participate in their local United Way and give voluntarily, and we have a corporate contribution we make on behalf of each associate who gives to United Way,” said Adrian Bennett, Publix District Manager. “We are proud that our employees and our company take such pride in helping others succeed.”

The 2012 campaign goal is $2.8 million, and to date the campaign is pushing 60 percent of that goal. Still coming in are the major residential gifts.

“We so appreciate the contributions from all these wonderful Publix workers. It shows how a national corporation can put down deep roots in a community, and we’re so happy to have six Publix stores in our Lowcountry area,” said Clarece Walker, president and CEO of United Way of the Lowcountry.

“It puts things in perspective when you think of the people stocking the shelves, bagging your groceries and running the cash register all digging deep into their pockets to help us advance the common good through United Way. The Publix employees personify the United Way motto of ‘Live United,’ and that makes me so proud,” Walker said.